As I type this, I’m stationed in the passenger side of my car with the seat cranked back far enough so my laptop screen doesn’t clunk against the glovebox. I’m parked at Riley’s school, leeching someone’s weak wifi signal and positioned near the sports field where he’s at flag football practice. As has been the case for at least three weeks in a row now, the weather is miserable: dark, cold, and dumping buckets of rain.

I’d sit outside in my usual fold-out chair, but I’m not insane. It is officially far too shitty to be camped on the sidelines of these sorts of wholesome outdoor activities, which is too bad since between my two kids they have a total of at least six different practices and/or games per week.

Evenings have turned so chaotic lately — if we’re not rushing off to a practice, I’m bolting for gym class or parked in front of the computer trying to force some breathing room in my writing deadlines. JB has a huge presentation coming up at work so he’s extra slammed. I can’t even remember the last time we sat down for a family meal. We’ve been putting a lot of effort into making the most of our weekends, but heading out for a mini getaway involves a lot of scrambling, too: the packing, the grocery shopping, the beshitted piles of post-trip laundry. Plus, check out what we came home to this Sunday after we’d been out of town:


You guys, that would be a DEAD BIRD the cat brought in the house and helpfully wedged under our couch. Thanks, cat. Feather-and-corpse reconnaissance was a nice addition to the usual chores.

Anyway, I’m wondering if fall feels extra crazy to you too? Or does it feel like a good transition from the aimless days of summer?

Signing off from wettest sports field in the Pacific Northwest,



30 Responses to “Brief parking lot transmission”

  1. Nicole on October 2nd, 2013 7:04 pm

    I adore you, Linda Sharps. I literally, unconditionally, adore you.

  2. Smartie B on October 2nd, 2013 7:20 pm

    The fall is a super busy time. It’s as though you want to celebrate the new school year with high fives but instead get to smack yourself in the face a few exta times to ensure you keep on the hamster wheel of kid and family activities. Winter. That’s where it’s at…hibernation time. Right?!?

  3. Emily on October 2nd, 2013 7:22 pm

    Oh boy, this has been a crazy fall. Been thinking it was because school started late for us this year and everything is compressed. But yeah, son is doing fall baseball and has had at least one doubleheader every weekend. And his swim teacher suggested he try out for the swim team, which would mean about 5 days of practice/meets a week. Still figuring out the balance between giving my kids opportunities to explore their talents and just “being.”

  4. Eric's Mommy on October 2nd, 2013 7:34 pm

    Omg, a dead bird?? Haha

  5. KateB on October 2nd, 2013 8:01 pm

    Living the dream! I have 2 boys, too and this is our life now. Fall baseball for one, soccer for both, church events on Wednesdays, plus 3-4 games each weekend. And, I am training for my second half marathon (you inspired me to do my first!). So, we are constantly busy!

  6. Victoria on October 2nd, 2013 8:27 pm

    I would like to give Fall a big middle finger. But I’m afraid that would piss it off… Bring back Summer. Or Spring. Or… both

  7. Allison on October 3rd, 2013 4:49 am

    My boys are 6 and 1 so no activities yet. We get to have dinner together every night and hang out. But I know that’s going to change in a year or two.
    I think that I’ve seen enough of my over scheduled friends lives to know to limit activities. I think. Time will tell.

  8. jen on October 3rd, 2013 6:30 am

    We don’t have any activities yet but our boys are in bed at 7 for the 6 mo old and 7:30 for the 5 yo and we don’t get home until 5:30. So that’s under two hours to make and eat dinner, get baths/pjs/teeth brushed, books read, and milk the baby. It’s not too bad but doesn’t leave time for say…a nice evening stroll or a game of uno. Then my husband or I have a workout hour from 8 – 9 (I get MW, he gets TTH). So yeah, things feel a bit rushed at our place too. I don’t know what I’ll do once we have activities in the mix.

  9. Beth on October 3rd, 2013 7:21 am

    Well, at least the bird was dead. The alternative would have been worse! And, yes, the fall does seem busy – practices and meetings and busier at work. Did we do this much stuff when we were kids?

  10. Amy on October 3rd, 2013 7:39 am

    Oh, holy heck. Yes. Yes. Yes. I have never been this stressed or this busy. I finally had to take a sick day so I could try to convince my gastro-intestinal system to call off it’s revolt.

    Eew on the dead bird. We’ve just had dead mice. Far fewer feathers.

  11. Maggie on October 3rd, 2013 8:15 am

    We have been crazy for months due to Oldest’s soccer schedule, but between carpools and nice weather it’s felt relatively manageable until Oldest started 5th grade and the homework has to be fit in with everything else. The last straw was when the weather went completely sideways for days and days. In the past, Youngest and I would go to where Oldest’s practices were and play on the nearby playground. Everyone got exercise and sunshine. Now, the weather is horrible and everyone is tired and wet. This Fall has been kind of a kick in the ass.

  12. JMH on October 3rd, 2013 8:28 am

    Hate to tell you this, but you are only at the beginning. I have a 7th grade girl in volleyball and a 4th grade boy in soccer. Sounds good, right? One sport per kid…easy. WRONG! We have had a practice or game every. single. night. since mid-August. Dinner together…? Maybe once per month in the last 90 days. It has been crazy! Workout time for me? GONE! On the up side, I *never* have time to eat a real dinner so I have lost 5 lbs. since the crazy sports schedule began. Too bad I have lost all muscle tone with it ;)

  13. sarah on October 3rd, 2013 8:54 am

    After getting stress-related UTIs last year, and fainting at work this year, I’ve decided to not exactly embrace the fall, but at least not expend energy raging against it the way I do.
    I have culled my goals to be (I hope) manageable day-to-day ones that are basically focused on maintaining my sanity. I’m gonna nap, cook when I can & select decent foods when I can’t, and work out, but with no Big Training Goal.
    Walking on a treadmill watching shows? Totally fine. Heading to bed right after the toddler? Hey, we brushed our teeth in our jammies together.
    I’m taking it harder than I expected to, the surrendering some personal and professional goals, but I think my family will be better off in the long run.

  14. Lori on October 3rd, 2013 8:56 am

    I’ll second JMH. My kids just do one sport, but now that my oldest started travel hockey (the only choice if he wants to keep playing), getting them to their after school stuff, fitting in dinner, homework and anything else has been crazy. My husband works at home a few days per week, so we started having family breakfast and have given up on family dinner entirely. That being said, I do love fall as a season and it’s especially pretty in New England, so I’m trying to make the most of it.

  15. Ashley on October 3rd, 2013 8:57 am

    My summer is similar to this, then I get a breather for a few weeks, then school starts and the pre-holiday hoopla and the stress of getting the kids costumed for Halloween is the beginning of it all…then it doesn’t stop til after New Year’s… It’s days like that I just simplify it all down to “If we got to bed and slept and woke up the next day, we pulled it off!” and you seem to have pulled it off quite nicely! keep it up :) and I’m glad I’m not alone ;)

  16. Sharon on October 3rd, 2013 9:34 am

    Yes, fall is crazy. During the week and on the weekends. When we do have the rare day off from sports and activities, we’re not sure what to do with ourselves. Family meals feel like a distant memory. But the kids have fun and don’t seem to mind grilled cheese and scrambled eggs before they head off to practice.

  17. Jessica V. on October 3rd, 2013 9:54 am

    Fall seemed to sneak up on me this year and I’m just barely getting the hang of things. The weather here in SoCal (coastal areas) was lousy all summer and only got hot in September, so when 2x weekly soccer practices hit in late August, I was still wondering when summer was going to start and was NOT ready for extracurricular activities at all. We went from zero to overscheduled in a matter of days – soccer, Cub scouts and tae kwan do. We just put TKD on hold until after soccer season – it is too much for all of us to handle. On the flip side, we changed our after school care situation dramatically and hired a babysitter who picks my boys up 3 days a week. It’s awesome – she helps get homework done and takes them to soccer practice, while I get to go to the gym after work for the first time in forever. It is a great arrangement and I’m actually enjoying my workouts instead of racing home to beat the daycare pick up clock.

  18. C on October 3rd, 2013 10:39 am

    I have a cat that is a Very Serious Hunter… you don’t even want to know what I just cleaned up.

  19. Christine on October 3rd, 2013 10:41 am

    I’m actually liking the focus of fall after the aimlessness of summer. But the weather here in DC is still thinking it’s early September – your photo looks a lot more reminiscent of an Irish autumn of my youth. My kids only have one extra-curricular between them right now and I pulled the genius move of having both dance classes run concurrently. More time for climbing trees, that’s my aim for them.

  20. perl on October 3rd, 2013 11:20 am

    I think a big part of the issue we got *no* transition this year! One day it was summer then BOOM! fall and its ensuing rains. Every time that it’s not pouring outside I try and run out and do one kind of winterizing chore that we didn’t have time to do. There are toys and crap everywhere in the yard, the wood that we cut is already soaked through, and I feel like I need to get the light box out already! Supposedly there will be some sun during the next few days – I’ll believe it when I see it!

  21. Stacey on October 3rd, 2013 11:41 am

    I have 3-year-old twins, in preschool three days per week. I’m not working (yet … just starting to get my career back on yrack), and they don’t have too many activities, so things aren’t that crazy. But they ARE doing soccer and swimming, which does seem a bit crazy for 3-year-olds. And I know if/when I start working, it will get much, much more insane.

  22. Cherish on October 3rd, 2013 12:07 pm

    How exactly did you find the dead bird? Gross.

    We have five kids so Fall is insane. Besides the driving to an from 3 different schools, we have added in Hockey for two kids, Swimming for 4, cadets and paint ball for the oldest and tutoring for one. We found that if we give up our weekends to activities, we get calmer evenings through out the week.

    Suck it up sista, this is only the beginning :)

  23. June on October 3rd, 2013 12:49 pm

    We don’t do weeknight activities… yet. Ballet lessons for all 3 on Saturday mornings (at different times, of course, but all in the same building and all in the AM), swimming for 1 on Sunday. Not sure what’s going to happen when everyone is in grade school.

  24. sooboo on October 3rd, 2013 7:45 pm

    Unfortunately, I can picture the trail of carnage that led to the discovery of the bird corpse.

  25. Courtney on October 4th, 2013 7:27 am

    I feel like this crazy hectic go go go is just… life? It’s always been like that for me, and throwing a baby into the mix has really made it no different. Admittedly, said baby lacks the ability to 1) voice an opinion or 2) try to schedule things like “playdates” that would muck up our calendar.

    Hang in there Linda. Remember, Crock pots are our friends.

  26. Christie on October 4th, 2013 10:34 am

    This fall has been especially crazy for us too. With no signs of slowing down anytime soon. I’ve been promising myself a day off since mid-June. Might happen in January… :-)

  27. Lena on October 12th, 2013 10:24 am

    You need to get an au pair…

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